Customer Case Study  

The Situation:
A major international furniture manufacturer rapidly expanded into furniture products other than its core upholstered lines.  In an effort to link these new products to their very recognizable brand name, the decision was made to incorporate these products into the company’s proprietary retail channel.  The challenge was to engage the retail sales force in selling these products along with the core product. They also wanted to be known for their sofas, chairs, tables, lamps and other home accessories. 

The Issues:
The client wanted to:

  • Increase overall sales, particularly among non-upholstered products
  • Motivate retail sales people to support the change from “order taker” to sales professional
  • Develop a consistent set of standards that represented outstanding performance for retail sales people system-wide
  • Communicate to owner-operators a set of uniform sales standards and encourage them to adopt them as their own
  • Identify the true top performers among the retail sales group and incorporate them into company planning groups
  • Reinforce top performance through a formal recognition activity

The Situation:
To motivate this retail sales segment and grow their overall business, the client embarked on an aggressive retail sales training program and with the help of Symbolic Traditions, developed the “PEAK Performance” program. The objective of “PEAK Performance” was to support the new business initiatives for increasing sales overall, but in particular, to expand sales in newly acquired product lines.

“PEAK Performance” identified and recognized outstanding retail sales performers.   Specifically, the program was designed to focus sales consultants and in-home designers on “building sales” through an increased average sale amount and through the inclusion of more than one item in the order. 

Performance Measures
Performance measures were developed to directly support “critical success issues” identified in the client’s annual business plan.

Growth would come through an increased number of transactions Sales Consultants must achieve 40 transactions each month to earn 30 points This metric of 40 transactions per month forces the sales consultants to be proactive and generate prospects for sales rather than sit in the store and wait for customers to walk through the door.  This metric was supported by sales training on prospecting and closing techniques
Growth would come from larger dollar transactions Sales Consultants must average $1,100 per transaction during the course of a month to earn 30 points A walk-in customer looking for this client’s well known upholstered product would spend about $800.  This metric is designed to encourage sales consultants to sell accessory products to go along with the core product or expand the sale to other core items.
Increase Sales Volume Sales Consultant earns 1 point for every $1,000 in written sales. The average annual sales volume reported by sales consultants is under $500,000.  The points assigned to sales volume are intentionally undervalued to encourage the sales consultants to achieve the other monthly performance metrics.  It is nearly impossible to qualify for honors without paying attention to the 1st two metrics.

Enrollment into the PEAK Performance Program

The enthusiasm of the independent retail store owners was key to the success of the “Peak Performance” program.  The manufacturer called on its factory representatives, who work with the owners on daily basis, to be the communicators of this program and encourage the owners to enroll.  Symbolic Traditions developed a program brochure and communication piece with all program details and provided each representative with a customized enrollment spreadsheet for each gallery in his or her territory.  Once the representative helped the Gallery Owner understand the program and provide them with enrollment information, the Symbolic Traditions staff became involved.  The Traditions’ staff received the completed enrollment forms, added the sales people to the Peak Performance program and provided each location with administrative tools to access their own data and update performance measures on a monthly basis.


  • Enrollment into the “PEAK Performance” program increased by 43% from 2004 to 2005
  • Awards qualification increased by 35%  from 2004 to 2005 
  • Customer reported a significant sales increase in non-upholstered items


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